Estrogen and Tonic

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Estrogen and Tonic began in 1995, New London, Connecticut. Original members were Anne Marie Newport (drums) and Kimberly Brine (guitar). The concept was to start an all-girl band by learning to play their favorite instruments however they could. The name for the band was a toss between "Ovary Action", thought up by Anne Marie, and "Estrogen and Tonic", thought up by Dave Cholewa, singer for local band, The Dry Heaves. Anne Marie and Kim agreed that "Ovary Action" may sound too heavy metal, so they went with "Estrogen and Tonic".

Troubles finding a girl bass player lead Estrogen and Tonic to allow member, Todd Romanella, to join, so long as he promised to dress in drag. Todd was a guitar player for The Dry Heaves, who wanted to learn to play bass. The group practiced in a space above The El N' Gee Club for roughly one year when Kim decided that she needed guidance from a better guitar player. Todd suggested Steve Swan from New London local bands, D.O.T., Varicose Brains,and Paisley Jungle. Although Steve played bass for these bands, he tinkered with the guitar and this was good enough, so long as he promised to dress in drag. Most of their practice sessions composed of making a lot of irrational noise until they stumbled upon the music that became their first song, Sock Monkey.

Kim and Anne Marie had originally planned to sing while playing their instruments, but this proved to be very difficult along with the task of learning to play their instruments. They decided, or so Anne Marie thought, to look for a singer. Anne Marie approached Todd with whom he thought would make a good match for the band. The only person Todd wanted was local favorite, Paul Brockett, who had been retired from music at the time. Anne Marie and Todd approached Paul and gingerly requested that he attend a practice session. Their band motto was to have fun, so it was not threatening to Paul's retirement. Paul attended the practice and decided to join the band, so long as they promised to continue to be the most ridiculous and entertaining band that they had started. With news of Paul joining as their singer, Kim apparently quit the band, because she no longer came to practices, and an unsettled dispute as to what happened is still present. The band had several other guitar players join for a few months at time: Ken Havens (from Varicose Brains and various New London bands), Ben Hellman (from The Wailing Ultimates), and Eric Johnson (from The Enemies). Each member added something special to the band.

Paul brought a bit a structure to the band. He wrote lyrics about sock monkeys, solar powered squirrels, John Denver and Tiny Tim which the band found irresistibly hilarious. After practicing sporadically for a couple of years, Estrogen played their first show at The Bank Street Cafe on Halloween of 1999. They played four songs which were considered to be okay. The band continued to play for years, playing shows only upon request. In July of 2001, Estrogen and Tonic played the last show before the closing of The El N' Gee Club. A New London local, Matt Potter, gained interest in the band and began requesting that they play shows with his band, Fatal Film. Their first show together was at a club formerly know as Poolhand Luke's. The club closed down shortly thereafter. Matt introduced Estrogen to Sean Murray and New London band, Total Bolsheviks during a show that they organized at Heroes. Heroes closed shortly thereafter, but a beautiful relationship evolved regardless. Paul continued to play with Estrogen and Tonic and recorded an album, until his one-man show turned into a roadshow with a band which became very popular and time consuming. The Paul Brockett Roadshow is a critically acclaimed band. He still joins Estrogen on occasion to sing along with them on-stage.

Shortly thereafter another local favorite moved back to his hometown, Mr. Joey Royale. Without a singer, Estrogen members, Todd and Anne Marie took advantage of Joey's homecoming by gingerly inviting him to a practice session. Being a huge fan of Estrogen, and their drummer in particular, Joey was a little nervous at first. Rumors sparked throughout New London, that Estrogen and Tonic had the "best singer in town" with Paul, and then had the other "best singer in town" with Joey. His volatile relationship with Estrogen was a mind-blowing experience, like most of Joey's affairs. Audiences were said to have their faces melted. Estrogen recorded an album, through Matt Potter's persistence, not long before Joey's other project, local favorite, The Royale Brothers, became increasingly popular and time consuming. He still joins Estrogen on occasion to sing along with them on-stage.

Estrogen and Tonic didn't think that they could recover from losing the two "best singers in town", so they went back to their roots and gave Anne Marie a microphone. She had been singing with the band during their "switchero" songs, in which the members all switch instruments to allow her to sing her messy songs. Anne Marie always wanted to sing and learn how to play drums, but the band only had one microphone. Estrogen feverishly wrote several songs as a three-piece when Todd suggested that if the band were to take on another member, it should be Chris Moore of Lawnbastards, The Liz Larsons, Honey Wagon, Fatal Film, and various other local bands. Anne Marie and Todd coerced Chris to join the band with the likelihood that if he went solo, he would surely become very popular. Chris took on the task of Estrogen and Tonic quite diligently and helped the other members focus. He picked up Anne Marie's guitar as well, since she lacked the confidence to do so. The band got two microphones and within a very short period of time, totally reinvented themselves again. Anne Marie's counterpart, Luke Jongebloed, who is arguably the band's biggest fan (aside from Susan Hickman and Matt Potter), decided to buy a recording program for the sole purpose of recording Estrogen and Tonic. These recordings plus Chris' musical inclinations have attributed the the band's new sound, which is said to be "more musical". Despite said criticism, the band continues to have a shit-load of fun.



  • Guns Alcohol Gas GO! (2005-CD) Covert Recordings
  • Night of the Living Dead Recordings (2007-CD) Matt Potter's 4-track in Annette's garage
  • Other Songs (2008-mp3s) Luke Jongebloed's Basement
  • Bones in the Basement (2009-mp3s) Luke Jongebloed's Basement

Various Artists Compilations

External Links